Statement of Changes to Immigration Rules: what you need to know


20th March 2024

The Government published the Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules on 14 March 2024. It is clearly looking to reduce net migration and the changes are likely to have a major impact on employers’ ability to recruit skilled staff.

Skilled Worker route

The changes come into force on 4 April 2024.

The main salary threshold will increase from £26,200 to £38,700.

Here is a summary of the other major changes:

  • 1. Big increases to the occupation-related going salary rates from the 25th percentile to the 50th percentile (median) with limited exceptions for national pay scale occupations and Health and Care occupations not on a national pay scale.
  • 2. Updates to the going salary rates for occupations on a national pay scale and Health and Care occupations not on a national pay scale.
  • 3. Update to the occupation coding which is now updated to the SOC 2020 version (as opposed to the current SOC 2010 version).
  • 4. Replacement of the Shortage Occupation List with a new Immigration Salary List which has a much smaller number of occupations on it with no 20% going rate discount for occupations on the Immigration Salary List.
  • 5. Skilled workers will now be permitted to undertake supplementary employment in any occupation which is eligible for the Skilled Worker route. Currently this is limited to the same occupation and at the same professional level as the sponsored role or in an occupation on the Shortage Occupation List.
  • 6. The salary of a skilled worker will need to equal or exceed both the general salary threshold or the going rate whichever is the higher. The going rate will be the rate shown in the 50th percentile or £15.88 per hour.

The points options for new entrants and holders of relevant PhDs will remain in place with the same discounts on general threshold salary and going rates as currently. The salary requirements for these will however be increased greatly because of the size of the increases to the main salary threshold and occupation going rates.

Transitional arrangements apply until 3 April 2030 for Skilled Workers who make an initial application with a Certificate of Sponsorship assigned before 4 April 2024 and who have continued in the Skilled Worker route since that time as well as for those with existing permission in the route.

Global Business Mobility: Senior or Specialist Worker route

The changes come into force on 4 April 2024.

The general salary threshold is increasing from £45,800 to £48,500. The going rates are being updated in line with The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE 2023).

Global Business Mobility: Graduate Trainee route

The changes come into force on 4 April 2024.

The general salary threshold is being increased from £24,220 to £25,410.

The going rates are being updated in line with ASHE 2023.

Partner Route

The changes come into force on 11 April 2024.

The minimum income requirement to qualify is being increased from £18,600 to £29,000. The requirement to have additional income for children is removed. Transitional arrangements will be made for individuals who make their first successful application as a fiancé (e) proposed civil partner or partner before 11 April 2024. They must meet the current requirements.

How can Blake Morgan help?

We can assist organisations on all aspects of immigration, from advising on right to work and sponsorship compliance issues, through to assisting with strategic planning of the workforce mobility and the latest Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules, working together with HR teams to achieve the business objectives in the most efficient way.

If you need legal advice from anything in this article

Speak to a member of our Employment, Pensions, Benefits & Immigration team

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